Tag: Prominent

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Prominent Stages In The Evolution Of Ransomware

At its rudimentary stage, online extortion was all about bluff and did not use cryptography at all. It hinged upon screen lockers stating that the FBI caught users violating copyright or distributing NSFW content. Victims were instructed to pay a fine via a prepaid service such as MoneyPak or Ukash.

Things have changed dramatically over time. Ransomware operators rethought the range of their intended victims, switching to the enterprise as juicier prey than individuals. In recent years, they also added a data leak strategy and DDoS threats to their genre. As a result, online extortion has matured into one of today’s most detrimental cybersecurity perils.

Ransomware went pro in 2013

The first mainstream file-encrypting ransom Trojan called CryptoLocker made its debut in September 2013. It used an asymmetric 2048-bit RSA cipher to lock down data and stored the decryption keys on its command-and-control (C2) server. The size of the ransom initially amounted to $100 worth of prepaid cards or bitcoins but grew to $600 in only three months.

This campaign came to a halt in June 2014 due to a law enforcement crackdown called Operation Tovar. Although the infection was short-lived, it played its evil role by demonstrating the viability of the extortion model with cryptography at its heart.

A series of predatory programs, including CTB-Locker and CryptoWall, followed in the footsteps of CryptoLocker shortly afterward. Their makers targeted different types of operating systems and took the dodgy tactics further by hosting payment sites and C2 infrastructures on the Tor anonymity network.

Ransomware-as-a-Service

In 2016, threat actors gave their schemes another boost by launching a ransomware deployment mechanism that resembled a garden-variety affiliate marketing framework. Known as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), this approach

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Members Of A Prominent Video Game Piracy Group Have Been Arrested

Members of the multinational video game piracy group Team Xecuter are facing multiple felony charges, the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Washington announced Friday. Max Louarn, Yuanning Chen, and Gary Bowser (yes, that’s really his last name) were all charged with 11 felony counts, including wire fraud, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“These defendants were allegedly leaders of a notorious international criminal group that reaped illegal profits for years by pirating video game technology of US companies,” Brian Rabbitt, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said. “These arrests show that the department will hold accountable hackers who seek to commandeer and exploit the intellectual property of American companies for financial gain, no matter where they may be located.”

Team Xecuter, known for releasing homebrew software for various video game systems including the Nintendo Switch and 3DS, is comprised of more than a dozen members around the world. The indictment alleges the group “at times cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own video games for noncommercial use. However, the overwhelming demand and use for the enterprise’s devices was to play pirated video games.”

“These defendants lined their pockets by stealing and selling the intellectual property of other video-game developers–even going so far as to make customers pay a licensing fee to play stolen games,” US Attorney Brian Moran said. “This conduct doesn’t just harm billion-dollar companies, it hijacks the hard work of individuals working to advance in the video-game industry.”

The US Attorney’s Office notes these charges are still allegations at this point and the defendants have not yet been convicted. The case is being investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. Louarn

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Members Of Prominent Video Game Piracy Group Arrested

Members of the multinational video game piracy group Team Xecuter are facing multiple felony charges, the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Washington announced today. Max Louarn, Yuanning Chen, and Gary Bowser were all charged with 11 felony counts, including wire fraud, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“These defendants were allegedly leaders of a notorious international criminal group that reaped illegal profits for years by pirating video game technology of US companies,” Brian Rabbitt, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said. “These arrests show that the department will hold accountable hackers who seek to commandeer and exploit the intellectual property of American companies for financial gain, no matter where they may be located.”

Team Xecuter, known for releasing homebrew software for various video game systems including the Nintendo Switch and 3DS, is comprised of more than a dozen members around the world. The indictment alleges the group “at times cloaked its illegal activity with a purported desire to support gaming enthusiasts who wanted to design their own video games for noncommercial use. However, the overwhelming demand and use for the enterprise’s devices was to play pirated video games.”

“These defendants lined their pockets by stealing and selling the intellectual property of other video-game developers–even going so far as to make customers pay a licensing fee to play stolen games,” US Attorney Brian Moran said. “This conduct doesn’t just harm billion-dollar companies, it hijacks the hard work of individuals working to advance in the video-game industry.”

The US Attorney’s Office notes these charges are still allegations at this point and the defendants have not yet been convicted. The case is being investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. Louarn and Bowser were both arrested abroad